LAHS Alum Paul Horpedahl Shares His Santa Fe Opera Experience With Technical Theater Classes

Paul Horpedahl and Ryan Daly during a recent presentation for technical theater classes. Photo Courtesy LAPS Foundation


The Technical Theater classes at Los Alamos High School were recently visited by Paul Horpedahl, former director of production and facilities at The Santa Fe Opera who shared images of productions from their past seasons.  Paul graduated from Los Alamos High School in 1975.

In addition to discussing production work at The Santa Fe Opera, Paul also spoke to the lighting class about LED technology and its impact on theatrical productions. He also spent the morning with Ryan Daly, Duane Smith Auditorium Manager, determining what kind of LED lighting equipment could best serve the needs of productions on that stage.

Paul’s career has spanned 40+ years, primarily in opera.  In addition to his 33 seasons with Santa Fe, he has worked at The Juiliard School, San Francisco Opera and Skylight Opera Theatre. Since leaving Santa Fe in 2019 he has been consulting with a number of opera companies coast to coast and has filled leadership roles at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington Ballet and Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center where he is currently serving as acting director of artistic and production operations.

Paul is also currently working with LAHS Alum Jock Mills on a campaign to name the stage at the Duane Smith Auditorium for the founders of the Olions, Ross and Lola Ramsey.  Their “Light the Stage for The Ramseys” campaign is working towards naming the stage, giving a gift of lighting equipment to the backstage operations and, finally, to fund a scholarship based on participation, in part, in the Olions program.  The fund has a lead challenge gift of $20,000 from alum Peg Watt Larson and her husband, Paul and is being managed by Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation with assistance from executive director Jenny McCumber. For information on how to participate with your tax-deductible gift, please contact the Foundation or go to

About LAPS Foundation

The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that helps the local community provide an extraordinary education for Los Alamos students. Los Alamos has given over $2 million to fund opportunities students and teachers would not have otherwise. To learn more about LAPS Foundation and how to get involved and/or make a donation, visit or call 505.500.6501. Donations to LAPS Foundation, a 501(C)(3) organization, are tax-deductible.